May 9, 2019
Renowned American poet Robert Frost wrote, “Butterflies…flowers that fly and all but sing.”
The plight of one of the most recognizable “flying flowers”, the monarch butterfly, is real. Numbers of monarchs have decreased significantly over the last 20 years due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and a changing climate. However, a group of local conservationists sprang into action to save the monarchs. They banded together to create awareness of the rapidly declining monarch population and to educate the community of habitat needs by hosting the first annual Music and Monarchs festival in Elkader.
On May 11, 2019, the 5th annual Music and Monarchs Festival was held at Founders’ Park, Elkader, Iowa from 12-5 PM. Once again, the Clayton County Conservation Awareness Network (CCCAN) invites the community to celebrate with activities focused on preserving and growing the habitat of monarch butterflies. Highlights of the event included a live music stage, food vendors, and kids’ activities. Additionally, conservation and agricultural exhibitors were there educating the community. Event organizers plan for 500 festival goers each year.
Daryl Bruxvoort, Clayton County CAN chairperson, says they see the community responding through action to save the monarch butterfly. “The general public’s understanding of the plight of the monarch seems to be growing. Our Clayton County Fair booth had a regular stream of visitors who told us what they are doing to protect this endangered species. We believe we’ve contributed to that,” noted Bruxvoort.
He added, “It is important for the public to know that someone supports conservation and environmental causes in their local community. Economic development will always be an important component of a vibrant community but there also must be someone to speak for the natural environment which continues to degrade. We can’t afford to throw up our hands and just give up.”
Joy in the eyes of a child is a residual benefit of the Festival. Bruxvoort shared, “Seeing small children playing and learning at the same time is very rewarding. Whether they are painting a butterfly, having their own faces painted or engaging in other learning activities, their enthusiasm and joy is apparent.” Additional kids’ activities include making seed bombs for pollinator habitat flowers and yoga.
“Fundraising is always a challenge, but the Elkader and surrounding business community has been supportive in allowing us to provide an event where music and activities are free to the public,” added Bruxvoort.
Daryl hopes the community takes one thing away from the event – the free milkweed plants with instructions for planting to provide a habitat for the monarch butterfly.
Alpine Communications has been a sponsor of the Music and Monarchs event since 2015. We support community conservation efforts as an investment in the future for our customers and environment. We encourage you to venture out into the community this weekend and save our “flying flowers” through song and conservation.Share Your Story →